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The Satanic Verses

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  58,976 ratings  ·  3,879 reviews
Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through ...more
Paperback, 561 pages
Published 1997 by Picador USA (first published September 26th 1988)
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Riku Sayuj

Satanic Verses: A Composition

He had just finished his thirty-fourth reading of the play. The unsaid hate, the unseen events, the half-imagined wrongs; they tormented him. What could cause such evil to manifest, he just could not figure. He loved him too much to believe the simple explanation.

And then the idea starts growing on him - to explore the growth of evil just as Shakespeare showed, explored the tragic culmination of it. And because you show the growth, it can no longer be a tragedy, no,
P8tra X
I never got past page 60 in this book. I read and forgot and reread and forgot again up unto about the fifth reading when I thought to myself that I might rate Midnight's Children as one of the greatest books I've read, enjoyed the depiction of Benazir Bhutto as the Virgin Ironpants in Shame a great deal, but I also couldn't read Shalimar the Clown and thought that Grimus was excreble (not even Rushie rated this first offering of his oeuvre). So what was I doing trying so hard with the Satanic V ...more
Max Ostrovsky
Occasionally, I will go into Half Price Books and buy a book that hasn't been recommended by any one I know, by an author I've never read before, solely because of its "critical acclaim." I buy and read a book because I feel that I should, based on the general public's reaction to it.

It is a weakness.

Many months ago, I decided to buy Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. My decision was based on the controversy surrounding the book. It was thought to be so controversial, so blasphemous, that Ay
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the archives: September 27 1988

The Satanic Verses, the controversial first draft of the Quran recently discovered after spending 1379 years in a safe deposit box, finally appeared yesterday to a mixed reception.

"Wheeeeee! I'm so excited!!" said one fan who had spent all night lining up outside her local Barnes & Noble. "A new book by Allah! Can you believe it?!"

Other readers are however less enthusiastic about the novel, and take exception to its portrayal of the much-loved character Moha
Apr 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who are not easily daunted.
Here's the thing about this book that you will immediately grasp from what everyone says: it's a beast. I do not mean this in a bad sense. I mean this in the sense that it's overwhelming. It's long, complex (storylines that involve overlapping characters and storylines that don't overlap in time or space at all), dense and occasionally slow. It is not for the reader with ADD. No matter how quickly you think you might read, reading this book will slow you down. No matter how determined you are to ...more
Sean Barrs
Mar 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those who have a strong grasp on Islamic theology and the Quran
The Satanic Verses is vastly imaginative and creative; it is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world providing you can actually get through it. And there’s the rub because The Satanic Verses is quite possibly the single most confusing piece of fiction I have ever read.

I’m just not sure what happened. And after 500+ pages I feel like a book should leave me with a little more than an overbearing sense of bewilderment. Perhaps if I was more widely read I would have appreciated it more. T
Michael Finocchiaro
Unfortunately, most people know this book from the scandal and fatwa it generated around the personage of its prolific and outspoken author Salman Rushdie rather than the book itself. The thing that enraged some Muslims (and the Ayatollah of Iran most of all) was Rushdie's hypothesis that Mohammed, being completely illiterate and having the Qu'ran being narrated to him by Archangel Gabriel could have dozed off at one point and that Satan could have impersonated Gabriel without Mohammed noticing ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What kind of idea are you?

This question, scattered throughout the pages of this novel, is the intermediary between the author and his work. A waterloo of sorts, a windbreaker giving rise to the question of the material’s purpose. It gives us some sort of glimpse as to why he chose to name it “Satanic Verses”, insight to all its diabolical implications, and some sort of motive as to why it is disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet. So what kind of an idea is this? In turn, what kind of idea are w
Jul 02, 2007 rated it liked it
People jumping into this book blindly may soon find themselves wishing they had informed themselves somewhat beforehand. I must claim an embarrassing ignorance about just about every aspect of this daunting work at the outset: I had only the faintest whisper of a memory of having heard the phrase "satanic verses" outside of a discussion of the ever-present religiously-sanctioned hit out on the author's life. I had very little knowledge of Indian culture and none regarding the cross-cultural expe ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
Salman Rushdie uses excessive language to cloud discordant plots, has a part-time occupation of scouring the news to write op-eds about evil Muslim organizations he reads about, and is obsessed with celebrity.

Rushdie strangles his plot in The Satanic Verses by hitching every development to a forced and unnecessarily long description or metaphor. His overwriting prevents the development of narrative flow. He even returns to more metaphors about the same topic sometimes, like when he writes about
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Magical Realism Fans, Neil Gaiman fans, studiers and enthusiasts of post-colonial politics
This book is not for the faint of heart. It is overwhelming in terms of plot, imagery, and its large cast of characters. However, it is completely worth it and it flows beautifully once you get in tune with the book. I bought the Satanic Verses when I was 17 and I was not ready for it--I read 15 pages and then put it away. I picked it up again 7 years later and could not put it down.

There is much packed into this book. One would have to read it many many times to get the full meaning
I'm giving this four stars because I acknowledge the importance of what this book has to say. The importance does not outweigh the fact that Rushdie does the "oh look how badly they treat women they must be bad!" dance while amassing almost a dozen girlfriends in the refrigerator and a couple personas whose bad ass character definition is completely subsumed by their (male) lover's plot lines, but stands alongside it, equally worthy of mention. It's a balancing of my importance as a self with my ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it

When the Danish Cartoon crisis erupted, I immediately went out and bought a copy of this book... though I'm afraid I didn't then go and read it in public places, as I should have done. It is indeed extravantly disrespectful towards the Prophet, as everyone knows. What's somewhat less well-known is that it's also very disrespectful towards a figure who sure looks a lot like the late Ayatollah Khomeini. I wonder whether this wasn't the real reason for the fatwa? No doubt it has already been discus
Dec 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I can't really review Rushdie's work. I don't understand everything he writes about. But I do love him because his language and his prose and his stories are just so Indian.

He writes lushly, extravagantly, with story tripping over story, subplot over sub sub plot. Characters tromp through with no regard for their antecedents. The colors are candy pink, good luck red, and Aegean blue, and everything is crashing and tumbling into each other.

And on top, his stories are amusing, mischievous, clever,
Brett C
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism
This is controversial book because of the social context rooted in the story. It didn't take me finishing the book to understand why Salman Rushdie was/is a hated man. Having studied extensively Arab/Middle Eastern/Islamic culture and being a former Arabic linguist, I was able to zero-in on what was being written. The controversy of the Satanic Verses from a historical perspective is a whole other discussion. I am not confident to discuss them so I'm sticking to a book review.

The title is taken
Aug 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
Life is too short to endure bad fiction.

The story started out interesting enough, with the characters literally falling out of the sky. It took me a awhile to get into the story, but I finally did. The problem was that every time you managed to get a hold of the basic underlying narrative it would evaporate and be replaced by a nonsensical dream sequence. The transitions between the two realities was so seamless that you frequently find yourself lost. Add all of that to the fact that you are try
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third Rushdie book that I have read and he has a way of making me feel not smart enough to really get his books so I have a hard time rating them.

This one has been on and off my reading radar for at least 25 years. I remember all the controversy surrounding it when it came out and the fatwa that was placed on the author. I found I was more interested in the circumstances and the author than I was the actual book so I never read it.

Picking it up now I expected it to be somewhat dated
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 20-ce, uk
Rather spooky reading at the time of the Rushdie fatwa. Deserves a reread. It really is better than the three stars I’ve given it. It was a little over my head when I read it.
Liz Janet
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.”

I’ve been meaning to read this novel for years, ever since I first read his other magnificent novel “Midnight’s Children“, and the wait was worth it, it is not disappointing in any sense of the word.

My one problem is that I expected this to be an novel set in ancient times, as I thought it had a bigger focus on ancient deities and Islam in general, instead I was greeted by a fantastic study on what is like to be alienated, as an
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Someone with a lot of patience
I have decided that it's time for me to leave this book. I have tried to stick with it. It jumps around way to much, has too many moments of abstract non-sensical story inserts and I often feel as though I have ADD when I pick it up. I always have to read the last few pages I read the time before in hopes of refreshing myself for the current reading session. Unfortunately because the book is so abstract, new characters constantly appear as if they have been there all along, causing immediate dis ...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Salman Rushdie’s magical realism breaks tradition with modern Indian literature, which is firmly rooted in the broad brush-strokes of Anglo Saxon realism and linear narrative techniques-the brush-strokes which form ‘The Satanic Verses’ is a composite of post-modern authors-from the metafiction of Calvino, to the use of fantastical characters and situations of Marquez, the punning and solecisms of Nabokov and intertexuality of Borges. Rushdie is a writer whose roots are spread across a myriad of ...more
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, aere-perennius
A near perfect novel. I loved the writing. I loved the characters. I loved how Rushdie was able to master heaven and hell, saint and sinner, heaven and earth in this dreamlike exploration of what it means to be an immigrant, an angel, a saint and a sinner. At times he writes like a post-modern satirist cum Pynchon, then suddenly he melts into his best post-colonial Achebe, and then off again on his magical realist, literary carpet à la Gabriel García Márquez. Rushdie's writing is a mountain you ...more
Dec 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was massively underwhelmed by this. I have put off and put off reading it, and then I was told by a friend that it was her favourite book, so I thought I'd give it a go, and frankly I wish I hadnt bothered.

I found the writing pretentious, with very little story. It has the potential to be brilliant, as the bones of it is good, but there is so much waffle, rubbish and unnessessary wording that it fast becomes tedious and irritatnig.

That said its made him very rich, so good on him!
W.D. Clarke
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 2020
Wise, humane, playfully outrageous, space-time-dilating, credulity-straining, genre-bending & heart-rending, skeptical-not-cynical, erudition-bespeckled and yet streetwise & of its time, this was a vertigo-inducing roller-coaster of a polyphonic novel that grows and grows on you, even if (as with me) magic realism isn't your main squeeze. I will read this'un again, methinks. ...more
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
As an adolescent stepping out into the world of the big, burly and heavily mustachioed men(the men at the library), I was constantly in awe of the books at the top shelf that were territory wise out of bounds for my then miniscule self. Salman Rushdie hence stood on top of a pedestal for many years both literally and figuratively. As the tide of time caught up with me (and the little library in my town which still retained the old faces behind the desks probably with a tinge of grey in their hai ...more
This case of this novel shows us that we still have a long way to go, until we truly understand the literature.

In my point of view, it is a proof of a total ignorance to criticize this book, classifying it only based on the meaning of the word " satanic" .
The so-called " verses" - refer to the verses removed from Qu'ran, considered a false revelation that the prophet Mahomed had.
Beyond any interpretation that Rushdie's novel can arouse, this is a novel that should heal, not hurt.
The prophe
Ashish Iyer
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to show solidarity with the author after he was banned by Rajiv Gandhi’s government and forced to apologies. Even some group issued fatwah calling for Rushdie's death. The result was several failed assassination attempts on Rushdie. So this was my statement for freedom of expression. I am against banning any book.

The Satanic Verses consists of a frame narrative, using elements of magical realism, interlaced with a series of sub-plots that are narrated as dream visions experience
Saadia B. ||  CritiConscience
One of the worst books ever written. It’s outrageously stupid, full of staggering bizarre concepts and a deteriorating narrative.

It claims to be written under the “freedom of speech” notion. Yet it criticises, ridicule and target one religion only. Extremely ignorant and contradictory in nature, I believe this book was written with an intention to hurt sentiments. Not recommended to anyone who believes in freedom of speech and giving respect to other religions no matter how many difference of o
Sep 06, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm doing my best not to think "Here goes Rushdie again." I never read this one before although I read every other book he ever wrote. And now, to fill the gap, I am stuck with the last unread jewel, except that it's somehow lackluster because Salman doesn't age or accumulate well. I mean, the more you read him the more he sounds the same. And has this ever happened to you: that you discover in a writer just a wisp of too much wit and it's wit that bores you?
Yes, I'm reading on, with strange com
May 25, 2020 added it
Shelves: not-to-read
Actually,I have marked it as not to read.I never intend to read it,but it is somehow showing up as read.

Anyway,I wanted to write a few lines about it.It brought a fatwa on Rushdie's head,from Khomeini.Rushdi went away into hiding for years and years.

He set out to be delibertely provocative and very offensive,on a very sensitive subject.Coming from a Muslim background himself,he must have been aware that this was going to create big time trouble and controversy,and he succeeded in doing that.

I re
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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun

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